The Curse of Corporate Anonymity

Over the years I’ve received a handful of anonymous notes and letters while working at various organizations.  Scribbled on pages torn from legal pads or neatly typed and sealed in envelopes, the notes often lacked specifics and were furtively slipped under the door of the HR Department –

“Some coworkers who work in my department are doing things that go against company policy. 

I thought you should know.  Signed,  A Concerned Employee.”

It’s often a challenge to determine how seriously one should treat an anonymous complaint.   Is there enough information to launch an...


Executive Book Club: September 2011

Have you ever heard of a company like this? Or is this just a dream job? 

  • Pays new employees $2,000 to quit.
  • Makes customer service the responsibility of the entire company-not just a department.
  • Focuses on company culture as the #1 priority.
  • Applies research from the science of happiness to running a business.
  • Helps employees grow-both personally and professionally.
  • Seeks to change the world.
  • Oh, and makes money too . . .
  • ...

What Does the C-Suite Want From HR?

Over the next few weeks I’ll have the opportunity to speak with thousands of HR Professionals & Leaders in business. This week I will be in North Carolina and soon following in MinnesotaNew JerseyBahamas, as well as VenezuelaOrlando and Virginia.

Part of the conversation happening in this community is the relationship between the C-suite and HR.  Does the C-suite value the work?  How can HR bridge gaps to gain credibility, support, strategic influence and cold hard cash to make a meaningful contribution? What if the C-suite just doesn’t get it?



Modern Day HR: What Companies Should Be Doing on Social Networking Sites

The world of Human Resources is a weird place filled with contradictions, confusion, and cognitive dissonance. We tell our CHROs and SVPs to be more strategic and create a department of thought leadership and entrepreneurialism; however, we still ask our HR department to oversee personnel management, payroll, and compliance issues.

Good luck working in Human Resources in 2011. You have your work cut out for you.

A new trend in Human Resources has emerged—social networking and brand management. Because those concepts are much more appealing than employee relation’s issues and OSHA investigations, many HR professionals are coming...


No Trust, No Team: Building Trust in a Virtual Setting

OnPoint Consulting’s global study on virtual collaboration found that top performing virtual teams reported higher levels of trust than teams that were less successful, which means that trust is an essential ingredient for virtual team success. 

Despite the importance of trust to virtual collaboration it can take much longer to build trust when working from a distance because team members rarely see one another and, quite often, have never met in person.

While we typically rely on interpersonal trust, which is based...


Eldercare: The New Childcare?

The U.S. is getting older. Americans are living longer, and there are more seniors in the workforce. That means more care-giving responsibilities for everyone.

SHRM’s research shows that members feel two key demographic trends are the growth in the number of workers with eldercare responsibilities,  and those with both childcare and eldercare responsibilities.

Statistics tell us that more than 65 million people—29 percent of the U.S. population—provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year, averaging 20-40 hours per week.[1]  According to a MetLife study,...


Life Meets Work

A few months ago I had the opportunity to coffee shop with an executive who, ironically, had decided to resign from her job the very same morning of our meeting (see my post about her decision: Resignation Day). It was bold decision and beginning of an entirely new chapter in her professional journey. I didn’t know her then. I do now. I am proud to call Teresa my friend.

When I first wrote about Teresa I referenced a “transformational event in her personal life” serving as a catalyst to move her toward meaningful change. Teresa isn’t just a...


An Employer's Response to a Social Media Nightmare

Earlier this year, a local teacher was suspended after her school learned about nasty comments on her personal blog concerning her students. And that story became national news. Now, word has it that the school is considering a social-media policy. Well, it's about time!

Social-media policy? We don't need no stinkin' policy! Then again...

According to this report from Christina Kristofic of The Intelligencer, the draft social media policy prohibits district staff from engaging in 21 different "improper electronic communications." Among the forbidden activities are calling students on personal cell phones, sending text messages to students, emailing...


Polite Meetings are a Waste of Time

Poorly run, ineffective meetings frustrate everyone except the people running them.

Recently, I interviewed Robert Herbold, former chief operating officer of Microsoft and author of “What’s Holding You Back.” Bob’s quiet, gentlemanly tone shifted toward disdain when I brought up wasting time in poorly run meetings.

I loved hearing him explain, “Many meetings are useless religious ceremonies controlled by highly organized, meaningless ritual after meaningless ritual.”

Effective structure:

I asked Bob how he ran meetings and he mentioned Bill Gates’ method at Microsoft.

  1. Have short agendas. Leave plenty of room for discussion. In
  2. ...

Trust is Not Blind Faith

Several months ago, one of my favorite bloggers -- Charlie Judy, author of HR Fishbowl -- wrote a post titled "Trust? Screw that."  It's a powerful read and one I suggest you take a look at.

In the post, Charlie talks about trust and its place in the work environment.  I totally agree with him that trust in the workplace is evaporating.  Quickly.  And once there's an aura of distrust, it's very difficult, if not impossible, to get working relationships back on solid footing.

But I wanted to add a little something to the conversation about trust.  Because...